50th Anniversary Annual Report


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Legal Aid of Marin's 50th Anniversary Annual Report

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50th Anniversary Annual Report

  1. 1. Letter from the Board President De Dear Friends W We are thrilled to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Le Legal Aid of Marin. For five decades, we have committed ourselves to providing free legal services to low-income and ou underserved residents of Marin County. With your help un and the support of our devoted and talented panel of more an than 200 pro bono attorneys, we are proud to dedicate th ourselves to the promise of Justice for All for years to come. ou We continue to be a vital and effective resource to communities and residents throughout Marin County. Legal Aid staff members are out in the community bringing information, education and advice to every corner of Marin. We are champions of workers whose rights are violated and friends and advocates for families when abuse and neglect have torn them apart. We care about the homeless and have developed special programs to bring services to those forced to live on our streets, who often find it difficult to seek out help on their own and our continued focus on housing and tenants’ rights provides critical intervention to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. We have also increased our attention on the terrible problem of financial elder abuse faced by older adults in our community, who can count on us for support. But there is so much more we could be doing and, with your support, we must continue to expand our services to meet the overwhelming needs of the most disadvantaged members of our communities. Legal Aid of Marin has made great progress since 2001 when we walked away from federal funds that imposed unacceptable restrictions on the people we could serve. With critical support from the Marin Community Foundation and supporters like you, we not only survived that transition but have strengthened the organization and its impact on the community. Our financial statements demonstrate we are careful with the investments you make in us, with 82% of our funding directly supporting the programs that serve the community. We also leverage your investment through in-kind volunteer support to deliver more than $1,000,000 in pro bono services each year. Our accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication of the extraordinary staff, the generous volunteer Board, our team of devoted volunteers and the community support upon which we depend. We are very grateful to all of our grantors and contributors and we ask for your continued support as we begin the next 50 years of service. Together we can make a difference. Andrew Giacomini
  2. 2. History I n 1958, Dwight Eisenhower was President of the United States, Elvis Presley was inducted into the military, Goodwin Knight was Governor of California, the Giants brought professional baseball to Seals Stadium in San Francisco and the Legal Aid Society of Marin was incorporated. The following attorneys were among the founders on April 19, 1958: Bruce Bales Jay MacMahon Thomas Schaal Ann L. Diamond Bryan McCarthy Carl Shapiro Robert Elliott E. Warren McGuire Robert A. Smallman James M. Fletcher David Menary, Jr. Peter Smith Harold Fulkerson Howard K. Morehouse Leonard A. Thomas Ed Grundstrom Clark Palmer Delger Trowbridge Herb Hawkins Robert Praetzel Harold Truett Leland Jordan Fred Robbins Ed Ward Arthur M. LeBow Hadden Roth Lawrence Wright Ann L. Diamond Carl B. Shapiro Ed Grundstrom Jay Ross MacMahon Bryan R. McCarthy Hadden W. Roth Commissioner Roy Chernus, Marin County Superior Court: “Individuals exist beneath the surface. Legal Aid gives people not just a voice, but tangible help when they need it.” Jonathan Gertler, Chavez & Gertler, Legal Aid of Marin Board Member: “Legal Aid provides emotional and social support . . . it lets people know the world has not abandoned them.” Carl Shapiro, Marin Civil Rights Attorney: “The purpose of lawyering is to stand as the guardian for poor people who need lawyers to help them.”
  3. 3. T he Marin County Bar Association President of 1957, leading up to the incorporation of the Legal Aid Society of Marin, was Bryan McCarthy, now an active partner in Freitas, McCarthy, MacMahon & Keating. Mr. McCarthy was one of Legal Aid of Marin’s founders. In 1958, Mr. McCarthy held the list of approximately 15 - 20 attorneys willing to volunteer time to assist the poor and needy of Marin with free legal services. “We would meet in the old Tamalpais Hotel. It became apparent one day that people began to need legal help who could not afford it” recalls McCarthy. The same task was also performed by Howard Morehouse according to Robert Smallman. “We all rotated to take cases other than criminal or divorce. . . . We all served for free.” This grand tradition continues today through Legal Aid of Marin’s pro bono program. Legal Aid of Marin has benefitted for five decades from the hard work and endless commitment of so many dedicated staff members, board members, community volunteers and pro bono attorneys. From the offices on “C” Street in San Rafael starting in the 1970’s to the Marin Justice Center created in the last several years, Legal Aid of Marin has consistently served the low-income and vulnerable residents of Marin County with high quality legal services. The extraordinary work of the following eleven individuals, among others, was responsible for shaping Legal Aid of Marin during the 1970’s and 1980’s: Robert McCreadie, Cecilia Lannon, Wanden Treanor, The Honorable Faye D’Opal, The Honorable Lynn Duryee, The Honorable Beverly Savitt (ret.), Milt Hyams, Tom Hendricks, Steve Duditch, Ed Rockman, and William Gorenfeld. Please contact us if you or other individuals you know have been mistakenly excluded from this list. We want to know all about our history. Marin Justice Center
  4. 4. Financials 2005 2006 2007 In Kind Support/Volunteer Legal Services $1,185,965 $1,011,760 $1,444,247 Cash & Cash Equivalents $113,148 $110,324 $235,312 Investments/Reserves $0 $209,248 $220,813 Total Liabilities and Net Assets $593,429 $643,318 $710,453 Salaries, Payroll Taxes and Benefits $521,353 $529,177 $555,244 Other Operating Expenses*** $219,565 $248,466 $282,061 ***Legal Aid of Marin’s annual audit is available upon request. Clients Served New Cases Opened New & On-going Cases 1932 1359 1742 1650 1049 1017 2005 2006 2007 2005 2006 2007
  5. 5. Programs = 82% Administration = 11% Fundraising = 7% Grants and Contracts* = 70% Program Service Income** = 18% Contributions = 6% Special Event = 5% Interest = 1% * Legal Aid of Marin has not received any restricted federal funding since 2001. Government grants from the State of California represent less than 15% of all revenue. ** Program Service Income includes attorney’s fees, claims administration fees and grants/contracts that require a regular report and invoice for reimbursement.
  6. 6. Programs M arin residents with extremely low incomes face many challenges as a result of their lack of financial resources -- food insecurity, the inability to find and secure stable housing, inadequate health care, and other struggles to meet basic needs. They also cannot afford legal representation. Everyone needs access to justice in order to prosper. The main barrier to access to legal services in Marin and throughout the United States is income. Yet poverty is not the only obstacle to justice. Limited English, lack of education and unfamiliarity with the legal system are all factors that prevent low income individuals and families from accessing needed legal services. Legal Aid of Marin has developed and participated in legal services and outreach programs designed to assess and address the legal needs of this population. Direct Legal Services: Legal Aid of Marin employs a legal staff consisting of four attorneys and two bilingual legal assistants. We have also assembled a panel of over 200 pro bono private attorneys working in Marin and the greater Bay Area who are available to provide services to our clients. This legal team provides a continuum of services that are tailored to meet each client’s legal needs. These services range in intensity from simply providing some legal information or a referral all the way to direct legal representation in court hearings and trials. This approach allows us to provide the appropriate level of legal service to meet each of our client’s unique needs. Legal Aid of Marin predominantly handles housing (tenant rights), employment (worker rights) and consumer (mostly debtor rights) legal matters in addition to dependency (abuse and neglect) law, family law and a host of other civil legal issues. Marin Medical-Legal Partnership: Legal Aid of Marin created the Marin Medical-Legal Partnership in November 2006 with the goal of improving the health of children, families and individual adults by integrating legal assistance into the clinical setting. Our current partner in the project is the Marin Community Clinics. Our vision is to expand the Medical-Legal model to include partners that serve West Marin and Marin City. Specialized Legal Clinics: Legal Aid of Marin provides the following Pro Bono Clinics and Workshops on a regular basis based on the need from the community: (1) Consumer, Debt and Contracts; (2) Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning; (3) Family Law and Divorce; (4) Bankruptcy; and (5) Labor and Employment/ Worker issues. These clinics may be for groups, but most are individualized appointments. The Clinics and Workshops take place at Legal Aid of Marin at the Marin Justice Center as well as Whistlestop in San Rafael, the Mill Valley Community Center, or as arranged.
  7. 7. Homeless Outreach Project: The Homeless Outreach Project was designed by Legal Aid of Marin to improve access to legal services for homeless individuals and families. In 2007, we served over 75 homeless clients as part of an incentive for participation in the Marin Homeless Count and through the first Marin Project Homeless Connect. The need for access to these services is critical on an ongoing basis so we have set up office hours at The Ritter Center in San Rafael to address legal needs where the homeless seek other services. We will actively partner with Homeward Bound in Novato and the St. Vincent DePaul Society Dining Hall should this project become funded. Earn It! Keep It! Save It!: The United Way of the Bay Area supported Legal Aid of Marin’s participation in a series of community tax preparation events. Legal Aid of Marin has a bilingual notary on staff and she has been integral to the completion of fully executed Individual Tax Identification Number applications that will allow an individual or family to pay income taxes for the first time. Seniors Against Investment Fraud: The California Department of Corporations provides the materials and we find the audiences and make presentations to older adults about avoiding scams and financial elder abuse. Marin residents in assisted living facilities, complexes occupied by primarily older adults and senior community centers have been particularly receptive. Legal Aid of Marin averages approximately one presentation every month. Foreclosure Workshops: Legal Aid of Marin has offered foreclosure avoidance and advice workshops since the crisis arrived in 2007. We have recruited local attorneys to assist in the community discussions. This level of information will most likely serve our clients well for the foreseeable future. Pro Bono Program: Legal Aid of Marin relies on the support of multiple attorneys that donate time and resources to assist our clients when our limited resources are over stretched. In 2006 and 2007, our volunteers donated over 4,800 pro bono (free) hours constituting a total in-kind contribution to Legal Aid of Marin of more than $2,400,000. Outreach: Legal Aid of Marin staff members offer weekly appointments at the Novato Human Needs and the Canal Alliance. We also attend to patients of the Marin Community Clinics on a weekly basis in both Novato and Greenbrae and we will expand this to the Canal when the new Clinic opens. Appointments are necessary and drop-ins depend on the availability and schedule of staff.
  8. 8. Client Stories O ur client is a Vietnam veteran. Circumstances caused him to dedicate his life to raise the children of his recently deceased wife, including a six-year old. He then found himself in a difficult situation – facing eviction – because his wife had failed to add him to her subsidized lease. Despite his sympathetic pleas for his continued tenancy, the management of the complex took an aggressive stance against our client. After extensive preparation for trial, including 258 hours dedicated by pro bono counsel, a settlement was reached allowing our client and the two children to remain at the complex. A n employee, even if they are treated as part of the family, is still entitled to labor protection. Our client worked for a family performing multiple tasks for a lengthy period of time with- out proper compensation. The matter was promptly filed with the California Labor Commission to preserve her claims to just pay. The parties agreed to mediation prior to a hearing. Several weeks of preparation and negotiation resulted in the case settling favorably. A n older adult client was solicited at a supermarket by a local representative of a national optical company who offered to clean our client’s eye glasses for free. While cleaning the glasses, the representative broke the frames. It cost our client $559.00 to replace the frame and the prescription lenses. Legal Aid of Marin wrote a demand letter and the costs of the new glasses were fully reimbursed. O ur client was referred to Legal Aid of Marin by her physician through our Marin Medical- Legal Partnership. Client is the single mother of four young children. The landlord had failed to properly address an extensive mold problem in the apartment. Our client’s one-year old was particularly suffering poor health from the mold. Legal Aid of Marin intervened by contact- ing the landlord and shortly thereafter our client was released from her lease, her security deposit was returned in full and she moved her family into a mold free apartment. Dependency Client: “If it were not for Legal Aid, I would not have my kids right now.” Older Adult Client: “I don’t know what I would have done. Legal Aid is a treasure.” Kerry Pierson - Trustee for the Poor and Needy, Marin Community Foundation, Former Board Member and Client Representative.
  9. 9. Impact Services I n addition to our work with individual clients, Legal Aid of Marin utilizes strategies to effect changes that help our clients by tackling the systemic problems that create barriers to accessing the justice system. These strategies include impact litigation often pursued in conjunction with co-counsel. All of these cases were successfully resolved except one which is still pending. Substandard Housing Conditions: Bonner v. Gateway Apartments (2007) concerns an alleged design or construction defect that is believed to have impacted all of the nearly 300 units in a Marin City apartment complex. Westman v. D.M. Jacobson and Sons (2002) involved alleged toxic mold exposure causing horrendous health effects for a mother and daughter. Worker Rights: Bernabe v. AMK Enterprises (2005) was filed against two Jack-in-the Box franchises alleging failure to pay overtime, meal and rest periods as well as unsafe working conditions and sexual harassment. Gutierrez v. Magruder (2004) alleged a Marin McDonalds restaurant cheated workers out of overtime, rest and meal breaks, shaving employee time from payroll reports and having employees work under more than one name to avoid paying overtime. DeLeon v. Nana Enterprises dba Travelodge Mill Valley (2005) concerned overtime, meal and rest period and other labor code violations. Eligible workers collected a check from Legal Aid of Marin based on the number of pay periods worked. Escobar v. Peck Sosa, Inc. dba Building Care Systems (2005) named Legal Aid of Marin as the Claims Administrator. Our task was to communicate with current and former employees concerning a settlement that allowed compensation for failure to pay overtime. Nearly 100 claimants were identified and paid. Affordable Housing: LeSage v. LCT (2005) vindicated tenants that alleged older adults were enticed to move to affordable housing based on low rents, but their six month lease expired and rents were increased up to 14%. The matter was resolved favorably in 2006. Contempo Marin Homeowners Association v. Manufactured Home Communities (2000) settled before the Marin County Superior Court, but a federal action challenging rent control for the mobile home park is still pending in federal court. We continue to closely advise Contempo residents after eight years of litigation. Travelodge claimants receive a settlement check
  10. 10. Grantors, Sponsors & Corporate Donors Grantors California Department of Corporations JAMS, The Resolution Experts Fair Housing of Marin Jerry Wilson Memorial Foundation First 5 Marin – Children & Families Commission JoVino Café & Wine Bar Irene S. Scully Family Foundation Kecker & Van Nest LLP Kenneth Frank Accountancy The Marcled Foundation Killingsworth & Holzwarth Marin Community Foundation Kimberly Skin Care Marin County – Board of Supervisors La Boulange, Café & Bakery Marin County – Department of Health & Law Office of Philip M. Levin Human Services, Division of Aging Law Office of Renee Chernus Morris Stulsaft Foundation Lilli S. Salon State Bar of California – Live Art – Carole Watanabe Lucasfilm, Ltd. Administrative Office of the Courts Mains + Bloom Equal Access Fund Marin Community Foundation Income on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Marin County Bar Association United Way of the Bay Area – Program and Marin Independent Journal Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Marin Magazine VanLobenSels/Rembe Rock Foundation Meredith Weinstein & Numbers Zellerbach Family Foundation Michael Johnson Performance, Inc. Michelle Maloy Massage Oakland Athletics Corporate Donors/Sponsors Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe Pacheco Ranch Winery Ace Wasabi’s Rock & Roll Sushi Pave & Bogaards Ackeret – Sheron, LLP Piperade Allianz Legal & Compliance Plastiris & Terrizzi Amici’s Pizzeria PLS Pacific Laser Systems Aquarium of the Bay Presidio Bank Architecture Studio Ragghianti Freitas LLP Ashley Morgan Designs Raindance Spa Atlantis Charters Ritz Carlton – San Francisco Bak in Action Robata Sushi Bank of Marin Ross Valley Winery Bay Club of Marin Rotary of Tiburon Blum Capital LP Rouda Feder Tietjin & Zanobini Body, Mind, Spirit Sabor of Spain Bourhis Mann Law Firm San Rafael Joe’s Brayton * Purcell LLP See’s Candies Brewer Philips Salon (Laura Iniguez) Scheer & Imfeld Center for Judicial Excellence Schneider & Wallace Chavez & Gertler LLP Sharp & Brown China Basin Charters Silveri & Silveri Color Color Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy Sonoma Taco Shop Delfino Green & Green St. Vincent de Paul Duane Morris Law Firm Steyer Lowenthal Emison Hullverson Bonagofsky LLP Sutter Instrument Group Farella Braun + Martel LLP Sutton Mediation Services Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. T & B Sports First Republic Bank Talamantes Villegas & Carrera LLP Freitas McCarthy MacMahon & Keating Tamalpais Bank Gap Foundation Gift Match Program Thomas Hullverson Foundation Hanson Bridgett LLP Trinchero Family Wines Harmony Restaurant Tully’s Coffee Heller Ehrman Whitman Unicorn Printing Specialists Hilltop Charitable Group The Warren Law Firm Il Davide Wells Fargo Il Fornaio Women’s Club of Marin
  11. 11. Individual Donors/Sponsors Abesa, Cynthia & Hogle, Sean Doherty, Colleen Konopken, Martin Rockman, Edward Acevedo, Sandra D’Opal, Faye & Kramer, Shelley Rosenberg, Steven Adams, Hon. Verna Wanden Treanor Fund Krause, Marshall Rosenblatt, Carolyn Arnold, Elizabeth Dresow, Charles Kundrot, Jason Roth, Hadden Atterman, Kenneth Drexler, Kenneth Kwok, Minette Rottger, Elizabeth Babikian, Jeffrey Edgemon, Pauline & Dennis Lambert, Peter Rusche, Conn & Susan Baer, David Ellis, Benson Landers, Elizabeth Russell, Kerry Ball, Kathryn & Robert Erickson, Robert Leone, Jonathan Samuels, Michael Baskin, Larry Fawcett, F. Congor Leoni, Marguerite Sandman, Peter Batie, Laura Fay, Joel Lerner, Esther Savitt, Hon. Beverly Ret. Becker, Jules & Jody Feeney, John LeSage, Monique Scheer, Spencer Becker, Ruben Feingold, David Levenson, Myra Schenk, Eric Beer, Thomas Feldman, Phillip & Lisa Levin, A. & Bertrand, J. Schoppert, Jeffrey Berberian, Edward Fitch, Cecelia Lippenberger, Carl Schujman, Elidia Doldan Berland, Allan Frieman, Jonathan Lippman, Eliot Schwartz, Jennifer Berryman, Jill Fullerton, Dr. John Locke, R. Christopher Schwartzbach, Gerald Berger, Sally Gabianelli, David Long, David Seiling, Jeralyn Bloch, Eleanor Gack, Kenneth Mah, Sharon & Wei, Chris Sharyon, Peggy & Leon Bloomberg, Judith George, J. Frank Mahoney, Ann Shen, John Bogaards, Debra & Pieter Gertler, Jon Malkin, Martin Sherwood, Janet Bordon, David & Jean Getchell, Marlene Maslow, Lisa Sievers, Daria Boren, Hon. Terrance Giacomini, Andrew McEntyre, Barbara Silvestri, George Bornstein, Izzy Gilardi, Susan McIntosh, Wayne Simmons, Kelly Bortel, Allan Gilmore, Rita McKenney, James Simson, Garrity & Innes Boudett, John Ginaleski, Mark McNear, Daniel & Kathleen Sloan, Kathleen Brandes, Beth & Julian Goldfein, Lisa Michaels, Spencer Small, Annie Breiner, Deborah Grant, Shirley Mills, Robert Snyder, Darin & Claire Breiner, Hon. Richard Ret. Green, C. Clay Mitchell, Gail Sorenson, Neil Bridges, Cecelia Grinnell, Daniel Mitchell, Gladyne Spaeth, Joseph Broderick, Hon. Henry Ret. Grove, Hon. Mary Ret. Montizambert, Gerald Strick, Lawrence Brown, Judith Austin Guthrie, James Morales, Christopher Sutton, David & Claudia Caldwell, Edwin Train Haakenson, Hon. Paul Moran, Neil Tarrent, Richard & Linda Caldwell, Michael Train Halbert, Mary Muirhead, Mary Anne Taylor, Faye Cariere, Jim Hale, Jim & Denise Mulberg, Frank Thayer, Joan Castrejon, Rachel Hansen, Kent Multhap, Eric Thompson, Roderick Chambers, Tim Hanson, Marka Mussallem, Alexandra Thompson, Todd Campbell, Rory Harris, Daniel Nardell, J.T. Treanor, Wanden & Champoux, Ronald Hedin, Todd Nevins, Sheila Faye D’Opal Fund Chang, Jenie & Harwood, Ben Hernandez, Rocio Nicholls, Don Trutner, Cynthia Chernus, Roy & Renee Horngrad, Douglas O’Connor, Eileen Turner, Kim Chertok, Maria Ramos Hotchkin, Elizabeth Okimoto, Minette Van Camp, Margaret Coggleshall, Chuck Hullverson, John Overline, Dr. Harry Varian, Susan & Bob Cohen, Carolyn Humphries, Donald & Virginia Parnes, Mark Viet, Julie Cohen, Paul S. Jernstedt, Karen Pave, Robert Veith, Nancy Cole, Eda John, George Perry, Warren Wachtel, Arthur Connolly, Dawn & Damon Johnson, William Phillips, Scott Wallace, Randy Corbett, Amy Jones, Katherine & Peter Phillips, David Wasserman, Steven Coury, Dave Jordan, Beth Pittman, Merri White, Matt Crecelius, Kathleen Keating, A. J. Poindexter, James Wilson, Karen Crocker, Aaron Kenney, Elaine & Robert Putz, C. Delos Wilson, Tom Crosland, Royda Kenyon, Richard Redding, William Winston, Paul & Bonnie Culver, John & Johnson, Katheryn Kerns, Robert Resolution Remedies Wolf, Michael Dauven, Wendy Killion, Paul Rice, Mark Worthington, William Davenport, Candice Kinsey, Sup. Steve Rifkind, Leonard Wright, Lawrence Davis, Charles Kloenhamer, Janet & Larry Ritchie, Hon. James
  12. 12. Mission: Legal Aid’s mission is to improve social justice, economic equity and opportunity, and to assure due process and equal protection of the law, by providing low-income and vulnerable Marin residents (poor people, children, seniors, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the homeless) with access to high-quality, effective legal services, including direct representation and pro per support services, as well as through affirmative litigation. Legal Aid of Marin provides assistance in civil legal matters to low-income Marin residents and all older adults. Legal Aid of Marin serves over 1,500 individuals and families annually. All donations and sponsors listed are reflected in our records. If our records are inaccurate, we sincerely apologize. Please contact us to make a correction at (415) 492-0230 ext. 309. Legal Aid of Marin is a private, non-profit organization, and we rely on both individual and corporate donations. Thank you for your support. Legal Aid of Marin was the 2008 Recipient of the Marin Community Foundation Beryl H. Buck Award for Achievement in Promoting Social Justice. Nominated by Bank of Marin. “Thanks to Legal Aid of Marin I will be moving on to a new employer shortly – someone who pays me a living wage.” “I can only thank you, they returned my money that I had taken from me.” “The problem was solved with one outside phone call on my behalf. I will be forever grateful.” “Thanks for being there for me in a time of great need!!”